Flags Starting To Pile Up In Cinci

By Marc Hardin

Fox Sports Ohio/Bengals Insider
August 30th, 2010

You always know when the Bengals are playing.

They are the team with more flags around them than The United Nations Headquarters.

Cincinnati surrendered an entire football field plus two end zones worth of penalty yardage during Saturday’s sloppy 35-20 loss in Buffalo, and that wasn’t enough to contain all of the Bengals’ penalty yardage.

The final count: 12 Bengals penalties for 122 yards.

Incredible, huh?

The running total after four preseason games: 41 penalties for 391 yards.

The Bengals receive more whistles than Megan Fox.

And there’s still one Bengals preseason game left to pad the totals!

What’s the preseason records? Can I get an intern on that? Oh, wait. I don’t have an intern. But I do have a headache.

The Bengals are averaging a migraine-inducing 10.2 penalties and 97.8 penalty yards per game this preseason. Those numbers prorated over a full 16-game slate would produce totals of 163 penalties for 1,565 yards.

That looks like a good season for a high school tailback!

Unfortunately, it is the Bengals asking for their tails back after getting their hides tanned by Buffalo, which accrued 7 penalties for 57 yards.

To put the Bengals’ inglorious numbers of Saturday into improper perspective, consider that the 1998 Chiefs during Marty Schottenheimer’s final season as head coach in Kansas City set the NFL regular-season records with 158 penalties for 1,304 yards.

Note to Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis: How can you wrangle for more control of the organization during negotiations for a new contract when your control over the team’s inappropriate contact portends to be the worst in league history?

Six penalties for 61 yards is plenty. The Bengals doubled their displeasure in Buffalo.

Speaking of records, the announcing teams Saturday in Buffalo were like skipping records.

“And another penalty on the Bengals…”

“And another penalty on the Bengals…”

“And another penalty on the Bengals…”

Apparently, Saturday night is still alright for fighting.

The Bengals had such a hard time getting things right against the Bills, you wonder what left: Technique? Judgment? Good coaching? All of it, out the window?

Just plain good sense seemed to be missing in Buffalo where the Bengals’ discipline should have been placed on a milk carton.

More perspective: The Bengals averaged 7 penalties and 54 penalty yards per game last season, and their opponents averaged 6 for 48.

Cincinnati, one of the most penalized teams in the NFL of late, was twice as awful Saturday.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was most disturbed by calls against regulars. There was a personal foul on left end Jon Fanene and a holding call on left guard Nate Livings that irked Lewis. Tight end Dan Coats’ holding penalty negated a 46-yard run by James Johnson into Bills territory. Safety Marvin White was flagged for roughing the passer on his first play back with the team after being signed earlier last week and was whistled for holding on a return.

Indeed, the ability of the Bengals to draw penalties is not flagging. How patriotic.

Every day for the Bengals is Flag Day.

There was so much laundry on the field Saturday night, the Maytag repairman showed up. He was told the washers and dryers work fine and to head on back to Pleasantville, which is in a galaxy far, far away from Penaltyville.

Will the Bengals ever be able to overcome their penchant for penalties?

You might want to flag this story.